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SUNY Potsdam Names Steven Marqusee an Honorary Alumnus

July 18, 2019

School of Arts and Sciences Dean Emeritus Dr. Steven Marqusee is Given Honorary Lifetime Membership in the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association

The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association recently honored School of Arts and Sciences Dean Emeritus Dr. Steven Marqusee with Honorary Lifetime Membership. Now an honorary alumnus, he was invited to speak during the College’s Reunion Weekend.

Honorary Lifetime Membership is presented to non-alums who have made exceptional contributions to the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association and/or the College. Marqusee was recognized for his tremendous contributions to SUNY Potsdam.

About the recipient:

Dr. Steven Marqusee earned his bachelor’s degree in anthropology at the University of California San Diego, before completing his master’s degree and Ph.D. in anthropology at the University at Albany. His research interests extend to Mesoamerican archaeology, historical archaeology and African-American archaeology. In 1976, Marqusee arrived at SUNY Potsdam for what was supposed to be a two-year stint as a visiting professor of anthropology—and ended up staying.

After joining Potsdam, he spent the next 28 years making a difference in the classroom, preparing students for lives and careers after graduation. A snapshot of Marqusee’s career highlights includes not only those 28 years as a faculty member, but also 18 years as anthropology department chair, and service in various other roles, including assistant to the president, director of the Gibson Gallery, interim chair of modern languages, chair of geology and associate dean. During that time, Marqusee also led 10 study abroad trips to Mexico, Peru and Ecuador, and oversaw 17 archaeological field schools in New York State, Guatemala and Virginia.

For the past 10 years, he has served as the dean of The School of Arts and Sciences. After an extraordinary 43-year career at SUNY Potsdam, Marqusee retired in May 2019, leaving behind an unparalleled legacy that has forever changed our institution. He was instrumental in envisioning both a campuswide arts festival and a center that brings together all areas of applied learning, and has been essential to the cultivation of key relationships with donors, helping them to see what others could not. His creativity, vision and personable approach has helped to secure more than $10 million of philanthropic gifts to SUNY Potsdam, most notably to support the LoKo Arts Festival, the Dorf Endowed Director for Applied Learning, the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning and the Lougheed Learning Commons. In recognition of this remarkable legacy, SUNY Potsdam presented him with the 2019 Roger B. Linden Distinguished Service Award, the College’s highest honor, at Commencement this year.

For more information about the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association, visit

About SUNY Potsdam:

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

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